United States jobless claims fall sharply in latest week

Reuters

Reuters

Initial jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs across the USA, declined by 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 232,000 in the week ended August 12, the Labor Department said Thursday.

The unemployment rate among workers eligible for benefits remained at 1.4% for the week. That was the lowest level since February and the second-lowest weekly reading since 1973. Economists had expected 240,000. Initial claims for the week ended August 5 were left unrevised at 244,000.

Meanwhile, the four-week moving average, which aims to smoothe out the volatility in the figures from one week to the next, dipped by 500 to 240,500. No state was triggered "on" the Extended Benefits program during the week ending July 29 and continuing lagging claims continue to hover at all-time lows.

Initial jobless claims fell to a six-month low last week, the Labor Department said Thursday morning, while two new reports on industrial activity showed more-modest growth.

Weekly claims have been below 300,000 for 128 weeks, or almost two and a half years, the longest such streak recorded since 1970.

More broadly, the American job market is on solid footing.

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